Politics

Hello. I created an account in 2006 but I stopped playing Eve because of its difficulty specially playing alone. I month ago I started playing again with some friends and as an indie game developer I’m very happy of playing it right now. The game is a pearl, because of the game balance in every aspect, the design and the multiplayer experience.

What’s the problem:
Well the idea of politics is a change and expansion of the current standing and faction system. In a game where everything comes and goes from and to players, NPC trade is not very logical. It is in an empty game, where lonely players must buy and sell stuff from someone, but as soon as there is a huge market mantained by players, NPC market begins to be unrealistic and unnecessary, or at least unimportant. I’m not talking about removing them, i’m talking about improving and giving some sense to them. Specially if we talk about missions. I love PvE when i’m not in the mood for adrenaline and action, but there are a few things about missions which could be improved.
Security missions are the best of all mission types, but you mess around with standings due to diplomacy between NPC factions, which is an interesting idea, specially if we think about lore. Distribution missions are really boring, but some players choose them to raise standings with a corp or faction without affecting the others. Mining missions are more of the same, i don’t know if someone prefers to do them and why, but I don´t, specially if we think about miner gankers who don´t care if you are doing missions or, more clever, farming ore for your own. The last kind is research missions, if previous missions were boring, this is total passive and unprofitable.
Let’s speak clearly, missions are made by newbie players who don´t know better ways to do ISK (a couple of days tops), players trying to raise standings and, maybe, a really loner PvE lover.

So here is the suggestion:
Let players offer missions to other players. Let players belong to NPC corps and even factions. Let players promote in that NPC corp like current agents are.

How could this work:
When a player has reached certain level of standings with an NPC corp or faction a politics option is available to them. They can become officials. Player officials manage NPC agents, creating and editing missions for them. These missions have no explanation (to avoid bad use of in game texting) but they have an objective and location, as regular missions have.
Now security missions consist in clearing enemy NPC’s from certain regions, like current missions, but these NPC’s are generated periodically by higher ranked politics of the other factions. I’ll talk about this further. Militar missions consist in PvP missions to keep hi-sec space safe and transitable, for example pursuing criminals or rogue players, or even guard strategic locations (like Jita’s gates). Everything is planned by officials and their superior ranks.
Distribution missions are the same but this time you carry other players cargo. Players can hire hauling player corps services as always or NPC missions pool. There has not to be too much competition, because these missions can have a cap at 10k m³ and/or 20 mil est price, for example, and cargo won´t have insurance, but in the market there can be an embedded option to bring bought items that way when buying remotely. Also a cargo can´’t be hauled in a ship which est value is lesser then a 20% of cargo, so auto pirating is avoided. Lastly, a sub-type mission for distribution can be “escort mission”. A group of players can accept a mission where one will act as hauler and the other one will escort the transport. These missions can accept more cargo and even more escort players who will split the reward (payed by the contractor player). Again, cargo won’t be inssured.
Mining missions may work for a “federal deposit”. Federal deposit will be (in time) a huge deposit of minerals with an average market price plus a modification of ±10% price controlled by high ranked polititicians of that corp or faction. This “federal deposit” is actually a sell order. Now this is delicate. Players who complete this missions will be paid when federal reserve is being sold at a price of 99% of the sold ore, and corp members will receive the other 1%. As mentioned, the price will be controlled by the system and will change over time increasing or decreasing according to the current average price. The formula es quite simple: New price = OV * OP / TV + NV * NP / TV where OV (old volume) is the amount of ore being sold before new calculation, NV (new volume) is the amount of ore being added to the federal deposit, TV (total volume) is the sum of both, OP (old price) is the prize of the ore unit being sold before the new calculation and NP is the current average prize of ore. So if current federal deposit sell order is 1 billion ore at 100 ISK unit, and we add 20m ore at 105 average prize in the market right now, the new order will be 1,020,000,000 units of ore at 100.10 ISK. (100.098039 exactly). So every ammount and prize change must be done when new ammount is at least 1% of current ammount, keeping it in a hidden deposit until it reaches this ammount. Now this would have multiple effects: first of all players will gain standings towards that corp plus the value of the ore mined when it is sold (it will be at some point) at a better prize than fighting against the market (and it will be automatic, no need to check market every few hours), but they will have to wait to receive the money until ore is sold. Second and more important, this will work as a market balancer avoiding the reachest players in the game act as a monopoly. Every time there is a huge battle where tons of material is lost buyers will buy all other players orders until they start buying from federal reserve, and until this is totally sold (and mission players receive their ISK at a nice price) monopolists won’t be able to “legally scam” other players with inflated prices, allowing a faster recovery of goods. So this will work as a real federal reserve when wall street falls.
More kinds of missions can be done under this system of player missions. These missions won’t be repetitive and will affect other players activities, plus some players will want to do the politics career. But I have talked about officials only. Once an official has gained enough reputation points or standing as official, he or she can be promoted to Deputy. Deputies can see global information of the NPC corp and faction they belong and other “adversary” npc corp and factions. For instance, in security missions they can see how many enemy NPC fleets other corps are alive and list them in order of interest for officials to create missions. They also can create NPC fleets designed by higher ranked politics and deploy them in other faction space. NPC fleets generate a little income for the faction they belong just for being alive, as well as all the lootable and salvageable profit for the players they kill (they loot and salvage). This revenue will go to politics players of that corp and faction. The creation cost of the NPC fleets is payed by the system, and losing corps (those which NPC fleets are lesser, or die more often) will gain extra funds to keep things more balanced. In distribution missions, deputies can assign NPC escorts to their best officials so they can create safer missions for delicate hauling orders. A 99% of all the income in these missions will go for the players, and a 1% for the politics involved in distribution missions. In mining missions deputies can indicate, again by ordering a list, which minerals are more interesting for officials to create missions, as they can investigate the market to see the state of federal reserve of every ore order. As with distribution missions, a sub-mission can involve multiple players by acting as escorts.
Lastly all deputies can review their officials work statistics and give bonus ISK/standing/reputation points to their best workers (or his/her friends). Good officials who are not rewarded are free to stop working if they dont trust their superiors, and the whole faction will work worse.
Ministers are the deputies who have gain enough reputation to apply for the job. They are then elected between all officials and deputies every week/month. If they get the job (only 1 minister can exist for every NPC corp) they can manage higher politics levels on their corp. They can design NPC fleets on security corps and even pact treuces between factions which will reduce or temporarily disable enemy NPC fleets of that faction. On transport corps ministers can establish warded routes. These routes will have more concord presence temporarily (while the route lasts) even in low-sec or even null-sec systems. This can be configured in many ways, so I won’t explain too much, for example Concord on watched routes can protect only hauling players in mission, or only certain corp or ally faction, or everybody… Mining ministers can temporarily give access to temporal higher tier asteriod clusters for mission miners (or corp/faction/everybody) and they can setup the ±10% price variation of federal ore reserve (if 10% is too much, it can be less).
All ministers can review their corp deputies statistics and give a bonus to ISK/standing/reputation to their best workers.
Finally, the president is elected among all the deputies and ministers every week/month after they have gained enough standing/reputation and apply for the job. There can be an only president in every NPC faction. Presidents job is only to manage their underlings work as he can see all work statistics from officials to ministers. Then he can give bonuses to all of them personally and split the bonuses at his will. Plus during his/her period on the job can promote 2 players (at any rank until minister) and demote 2 players (at any rank until official). Actually he can exchange 2 players rank twice (or three times, or once…) every time he/she is elected.

All politics win ISK for doing their jobs. I have thought of a 1% of the total income missions players generate, but this can be changed. That 1% is splitted according to their rank and/or standing.

A lot of details can be changed, added or removed, but the politics career will give sense to the missions jobs and can benefit the relationships and estructure of players, giving some of them, for a certain time, a little power or relevance among the community. The possibilities are unlimited.

Too easy to game…

-1

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You can already do this, so go out and offer missions to other players if it’s something you want to see. That’s the nice thing about the player-driven sandbox, why waste time with the NPC factions when you can have much more interesting player interactions?

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Then why waste time with NPC standings at all? Actually, why waste time mining when lasers do it automatically? And on the other hand, why waste time setting up a planet for Planet Production? Mining is pretty easier. I think 99% of people use missions to setup standings, actually standings are a way to force players to use that game content, like any other game: do PvE stuff to be more competetive in PvP (you need ISK to be competetitive in PvP, if you want to sell in Jita you will want good standings with Caldari Navy corp). Beyond that, missions and standings are meaningless. The ultimate question is: do you want more content, more game options, more playing possibilities or less?

Players can interact as they wish, but if system wouldn’t allow player corps they would interact much much less, just because they would be forced to do all the corp administration work manually, and a lot of possibilities wouldn’t exist like the option to recover cargo from an ally wreck. This politics system would provide 1 more career, 2 more missions (militar and escorting), a lot of player interaction (encouraged by the own system), and more PvE content (not repetetive as it is created and changed by own players). When you first start playing Eve as a solo player, you find yourseld in a vast and complicated galaxy, full of people you don’t interact with, you do the tutorial, a few missions, and then what? I think this is a chance to become part of the community even if you don’t have or find friends to play with.

English is not my native language (neither yours, I guess) and I haven’t prepared the idea too much. Even if I had, a lot of things can be changed, added or removed from that idea, and of course implementation wouldn’t be trivial because there are many details to take care of to avoid “bad use” of the system. So if you mean it would be hard to implement, yes you’re right, not because it would be technically hard (some forms and programming would do the job), but the problem would be to “balance” everything without affecting the current game system (I think it wouldn’t, the way I thought of it and I have explained). But I think you mean all that would be too hard to play for the players themselves. Well, it won´t. It would be much easier than PP, for instance. Every player can have a single job (a player can’t be official and minister at the same time) so their job is pretty limited. As official of a transport corp, for example, you will only create transport missions. A form would pop up when you click “create mission” button, and you see a list of players good to be transported to their destinations. You can now split large cargos in multiple manageable cargos, or join multiple little cargos together to the same destination. So you pick “transport orders” from that list and drag them to the mission you’re creating, setting up the amount. Not big deal.

No.

Salt_Foambreaker is implying that it will be easy to take advantage of (for better and worse).
And I agree.

This will give larger and more organized groups a way to manipulate the NPCs to gain more power and ISK.

The problem is that a single player can have multiple characters on different accounts.
And each account can use different information to avoid detection.
Even IP addresses can be worked around through VPNs.

So yes, a single player can be both an official and minister.

This can already be done.

Look up “Courier Contracts”

They do almost exactly what you are describing.

A lot of NPC activity in the game is left over from the early days when CCP had to provide a framework for players to build on. As players have taken over industry, markets and politics, the NPCs have faded into the background. There is a role playing community who enjoy following the NPC storyline but Eve is basically a sandbox where the interaction between players keeps things interesting.

If you want to get involved in politics, join a Nullsec alliance - many of them are crying for people who have the time and talent to take on leadership roles.

Many players like missions (and anomalies) just the way they are - predictable “cashflow for capsuleers”. CCP will continue to introduce new PVE content but I’ll be surprised if they invest precious development time trying to update 15 year old missions or increase the interaction between players and NPC factions.

How?

So you have a player with multiple characters controlling a lot of politics tasks in a NPC faction. He has a lot of work to do, he will spend most of his game time doing these tasks, or else he will do them poorly, so other factions will work better and many players will prefer to play in those areas. For example if a region is more secure, have more special mining spots / better ore prices, safer trading routes… More players will “move” their houses to those regions, they will participate in more missions in those regions so politics who perform better will be better rewarded.

You can’t “manipulate” NPCs, you just give them missions, and they offer them 24/7. If you don’t, they will offer normal missions only.

Well, I was guessing the meaning of “Too easy to game”, so I was just explaining how easy for developers and players would be to implement this.

Good question. Why are you wasting time with NPCs in a player-driven PvP sandbox game?

Game is nice as it is. I said that in my prologue. But everything has flaws or weak points, and I think missions, standings and NPC factions are a good way for novel players to introduce to game (first days of playing) and then they are only used to setup standings to lower taxes. I have thought of a way (not very well explained) to improve and expand PvE, missions, and player interaction (controlled by the system). A player friend (my teacher in this game) told me “sometimes you will be killed even if you dont carry valuable cargo, because there are players who look for notoriety by having a good pool of PvP kills, or in other words: they measure their penises”. So this is a chance for people to look for notoriety in a different way, for newbie players to get involved in social activities and meet people, a career that stands on command and manage other players… Well, I thought it could be a good idea for some players, that’s why I spend time (a lot, cause I’m spanish) writting this. The most amazing thing of this game (and most sandbox games) is the way players create the state and history of happenings, the game itself, and they do so by creating corps, alliances and other interactions as gathering, trading, crafting… But the NPC space is too large, neutral and boring. Too dead… I’m not proposing players control that space, but they can make it far more interesting.

Then let’s ask CCP for a total wipe of resource gathering, exploration, skill training, crafting and let people get some ISK periodically, the bigger their corp’s controlled space is, the bigger the ISK gain. And skills can be bought and insta trained. Now you can buy your ships, fit them, and go PvP to control clusters of space. You have a pure and simpler player-driven PvP sandbox game there. But that does not look like Eve anymore. So again the question is: more content or less? Or just: stop wasting our time by proposing ideas we don’t like, we like the game as it is. <— I like it too, I’m just trying to say ideas i like and i think others could (but maybe i’m wrong).